Thursday, May 8, 2014

“The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host.”

“As a man must be born before he can begin to lead his physical life, so he must be born to lead a Divine Life. That birth occurs in the Sacrament of Baptism. To survive, he must be nourished by Divine Life; that is done in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.” - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Gospel text (Jn 6,44-51): Jesus addressed the crowd, «No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets: They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to me. For no one has seen the Father except the One who comes from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the bread which comes from heaven so that you may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is my flesh and I will give it for the life of the world».

As preschoolers and Kindergarteners, we are taught to share our toys with our classmates. This is an extremely important lesson, but it is a difficult one, too. Children naturally are a bit selfish. They think, “Why should I share when it is much better for me to keep everything for myself?” Good teachers will strive to persuade these “little ones” to take their minds off themselves and consider the other’s needs.

Pope Francis has challenged Catholics to consider allowing our lives to be transformed by Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.

Speaking recently to a congregation of about 20,000 people outside the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to ask if the Eucharist is a “moment of true communion with the Lord, but also with my many brothers and sisters who share at this same altar?” and if when “adoring Christ truly present in the Eucharist, do I allow myself to be transformed by him?”

Pope Francis went on to say: “The Eucharist is the sacrament of the communion that takes us out of our individualism so that together we live our discipleship, our faith in him.” At the same time, the Holy Father said, in receiving the Eucharist faithfully “the Lord leads us to follow his path — that of service, sharing and giving; and that little that we have, the little that we are, if shared, becomes a treasure because the power of God, who is love, descends to our poverty and transforms it.”

The greatest miracle in the world happens at each Mass. Jesus becomes present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. Those who receive him in a state of grace (All Baptized Catholics are one confession away from that state) receive strength for the journey which is truly “out of this world.” Jesus is present eternally with the Father in heaven, and he becomes our nourishment in Communion. Heaven unites itself with us poor creatures.

Each time we as Catholics eat of this Bread, we will go deeper into the very love of God! If we do so, we will no longer live for ourselves and the world will be a better place because we are in it.

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